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13 August 2015: The Colourdome

Our regular venue was specially lit for this joint event with SLL - all about colour and polychromatic and monochromatic light. 

CIBSE HCNW is very grateful to sponsor Architectural Lighting Works, who kindly brought the special light packs for the room and made our usual space so special.

Some members had travelled from Sunderland and HCNW was pleased to welcome back regional friends and presenters Mary Rushton-Beales, and Dr Meher Engineer. Among others, CIBSE Member Arthur arrived sporting the Region tie.

So it was a warm and engaging evening with a sense that the Region and our community of practice, gathered in our regular Pushkin House room, was once again breaking new ground with two fascinating, interactive talks and a display of colour. 


Mary and Meher visited current debate about the ways white LED light is created, and blue LEDs. The question raised was not so much about blue, but the spectral range and the diminished Near Infra-red in typical polychromatic sources, even compared to superseded tungsten light sources. Humans might not detect any difference in colour perception, but Mary and Meher raised questions about how our cells respond to the diminished Near Infra-red segment, particularly the physiological response of our eyes. Once again, a HCNW seminar visited human evolution and our natural environment to understand a quite different exposure - our comparatively brief experience as humans in a built environment, with artificial light. 


Mary not only pointed to the extensive research funding in this area, but also how research concentrates on one small area with results qualified by many other variables. We visited many other aspects too, SLL and Region Members raising their own opinion and even laboratory work on colour. We also touched on experimental red and amber overnight lighting for corridors. HCNW has asked Mary to come back with a talk on municipal light colours and wildlife, which promises to be equally absorbing and new.   


The Colourdome experience, monochrome light, could be described as a human 'reset' or 'retune' after the varied blaze of polychromatic light we experience in the built environment. We did have some technical problems starting the Colourdome mask - our apologies - but Meher kindly offered SLL and Region Members a separate event in Hanworth on the full Colourdome. This creates the illusion of infinite space filled with brilliant colour projections - a uniform field of monochrome light from chosen points anywhere on the visible spectrum.

Our thanks to Mary, Meher, and Architectural Lighting Works for another absorbing and warming evening.